Wallace K. Ferguson PrizeHonorable Mention
“ . . . a fascinating read for everyone interested in Russia, religion, and modernity.” —Nadieszda Kizenko
In the early 20th century, Baptists were the fastest-growing non-Orthodox religious group among Russians and Ukrainians. Heather J. Coleman traces the development of Baptist evangelical communities through a period of rapid industrialization, war, and revolution, when Russians found themselves asking new questions about religion and its place in modern life. Baptists’ faith helped them navigate the problems of dissent, of order and disorder, of modernization and westernization, and of national and social identity in their changing society. Making use of newly available archival material, this important book reveals the ways in which the Baptists’ own experiences, and the widespread discussions that they generated, illuminate the emergence of new social and personal identities in late Imperial and early Soviet Russia, the creation of a public sphere and a civic culture, and the role of religious ideas in the modernization process.